Professor Dave Stevens MPhil, Hon.DTech


An alumnus of De Montfort University - Professor Dave Stevens was an independent governor on the Board of Governors from 2005-2012 and returned to assist the Board during 2019. He was previously Pro-Chancellor for five years and became Pro-Chancellor again in August 2021.

Dave started his career following an apprenticeship with the General Electric Company (GEC) in 1972. He joined Rank Taylor Hobson in 1978 as an electronics engineer and later a software engineer, before moving into a more management-focussed roles in marketing, HR and as Director of Corporate Development.

In 1998, the optics division was part of a buy-out when Dave become Managing Director of the newly formed Cooke Optics in Thurmaston. The company is now the leading, worldwide manufacturer of lenses for the film industry, and was awarded an Oscar in the 2013 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Scientific and Technical Awards.

During Dave’s career, he led the two companies to three Queen’s Awards, a technical Emmy, and the Department of Trade and Industry’s award of ‘UK Exporter of the Year’. He had the pleasure of meeting HM The Queen on three occasions.

He is an honorary professor at De Montfort University in the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Media, and after a number of years of consulting, Dave led the transformation of Leicester’s Phoenix Arts into Phoenix Square – a vibrant venue for independent film, art and digital culture. Prior to his retirement he returned to his passion for Metrology.

Dave says, “Learning is a fundamental need, at all levels and all ages - and those who can teach well are special people – Great teachers make successful graduates”.